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I wasn't sure where to post this, hope this is Ok. I've searched and can't find the answer so I'll ask.

What is the 'safest' youngest age to breed a female? (Specifically a Nigerian Dwarf)

Obviously, I have no goats (YET!) but am just curious after a discussion I had with my DH. With a dog you can breed her at 7 months (if she comes into heat) but that IMO is cruel and unhealthy as she hasn't physically developed for closer to two years old. Is this the same for goats?
 

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Hi and welcome - many people breed 7 mth old goats, but they need to weigh a certain amount and I don't know what that is for ND. I raise boers and I believe it's about 80lbs for them, but they are full size goats. For me, I make individual decisions based on the doelings size more than age. I have one that is huge and I will breed her in the fall, she will be about 9 mths old. My others I will breed at 1 year. I like to let them grow up a bit before expecting them to be good mommys. good luck, D
 

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for nigerian dwarfs it is best to wait till they are a year old to breed them. I did breed a 7 month old doe but it was on accident last year. She did great and had no issues but i don't reccomend it to be done on purpose.
 

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StaceyRoop said:
for nigerian dwarfs it is best to wait till they are a year old to breed them. I did breed a 7 month old doe but it was on accident last year. She did great and had no issues but i don't reccomend it to be done on purpose.
I TOTALLY AGREE! The later you can wait, the better. However accidents do happen. Ive had a doe get preggers at 3 months and she did absolutely fine. It really depends on the doe and sire and the does build. The wider hipped and stockier doe bred to a small sire with small lines would have a better chance of getting through the birth than a petite doe and a large buck. Just know that while its best to wait till atleast 7 months, it is not the end of the world if the doe is bred earlier and the doe may very well have no problems.

If these goats were still wild, they would be bred every heat cycle from the first cycle, the goal of preserving the herd in mind. They are built for that kind of thing. Where people seem to have problems is that they breed their does down to small and bucks to large or buy large buck and small doe and expect the kids to stay small. Also, wild goats and sheep are in a herd for life (unless they are banished or die) so, most of the time, every goat/sheep in a herd is related and interbred. So, if the original herd sire and doe are small and produce small kids, the chances of every doe and buck produced in that herd is small is a great posibility thus carrying on the small genes until the herd is diminished. Does that make sense?

CJ
 

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I also agree to wait a bit. I did have a oops also. My doe at 7 months jumped in with the buck, and she did have a beautiful doe without any trouble BUT, she (mom), is SO much smaller them any goats her age. It really stunts the growth because they poor all that energy to the baby.
I am having to sell this doe because she just could not catch up, and she is dinged by all the judges because of it. My goal is to wait until they are ABOUT a year and a half.
 

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I too agree to wait til they are at least a year if not over a year old, I also had an oops...thru the fence with my 4 month old doeling. She delivered a single doe just fine at 9 months old. Also Angel is big for her age...as big as my 3 year old ND doe so she isn't "stunted" by having a baby....just was hoping to wait til THIS fall for her first time!
 

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I have seen some 6 month olds who are big enough to breed. I would wait a minimum of 7 months to breed and I do not go by a weight but a thurl/thurl width. If the doe is tall and thin she could still have trouble kidding. If she's wide she won't. Normally speaking I do not plan to even consider a doeling till she's a year. But if by 7 months she's surpassed my expectations on size and health then I will consider breeding her. Most though do wait till a year at least and I have had some who had to wait till they were a year and a half old as well. Each doe is different, each must be handled differently.
 

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On my myotonics, I wait until they are about 14-18 months. My boer doeling is a year old but still a little small so really it just depends on the size of the goat.
 

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What I do, is I breed the steady growers, not he spurters. The spurters just have growth spurts every now and then which isn't a good thing to be doing while they are pregnant. My steady growers tend to get fat if I breed them when they are dry yearlings. I breed at 8 months and at least 90 lbs.
 
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